Author Topic: DPC dispute with Bloor Homes and NHBC  (Read 6166 times)

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tommyshearing

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DPC dispute with Bloor Homes and NHBC
« on: December 15, 2014, 02:38:03 pm »
We bought our house new in May 2014, paying over £460,000 for the home, because it was a new build covered by the NHBC Buildmark guarantee, was confident it would built in accordance with all current building regulations .
We started to get mould appearing on the skirting boards, which Bloor Homes told us was just the house "drying out".   We were concerned that there might be bigger problem and got the house independently surveyed.  
Once we got the surveyor's report , in short the damp proof coursing (DPC), does not meet current building requirements, on our driveway the DPC is at ground level, for the majority of the perimeter of our property the DPC is about 80mm to  100mm above ground level (his report is available for inspection).  

We took this up with Bloor Homes whose response was that it had been signed off by the NHBC and therefore meets all building requirements.  We opened a dispute with the NHBC and got a resolution meeting.   At the resolution meeting the NHBC opinion is the building requirements regarding DPC, is because the Building regulations state they "should be" a minimum of 150mm and not that they "must be" a minimum of 150mm, then this is not a statutory requirement, it's fine that houses are built not meeting the minimum DPC requirements of at least 150mm between the DPC and ground level.

This opinion goes against the opinion every other building professional I have spoken to (including our Basildon Council building Control department; however they are reluctant to get involved in our dispute).   It means that builders are free to ignore statutory building requirements, as the NHBC is signing off homes and then backing up the builder in disputes because of their extremely loose interpretation of statutory building requirements.  

The only course open left to us is to sue NHBC and or Bloor Homes for failing to provide us with a house that meets the basic minimum building requirements for our new home.  This make a complete joke of the NHBC claims that they are improving standards in the building industry, as they are clearly allowing builders to build new homes that fail to meet the minimum standards set out in the build regulations and then backing them up.  The NHBC  are clearly lowering the standards in the building industry, knowing that only course open to new home buyers take them to court, which reluctantly we are being forced to do.  


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Re: DPC dispute with Bloor Homes and NHBC
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2014, 08:34:50 am »
What a truly interesting and shocking account.

The Building Regulations are not optional and must be adhered to.
The REQUIREMENT that DPC is at least 150mm above finished ground level is there for a reason, which unfortunately is now only to clear to you.

The fact that Bloor were incompetent by not building to a basic statutory requirement and well-known industry standard and then attempt to hide behind the NHBC inspectors own incompetence for signing the home off as meeting the building regulations and standards speaks volumes about them.

The NHBC then compound this by adding to the general consensus that they are "in league with house builders" by siding with them in your dispute and suggesting that "should be" is different from "must be" in relation to the height of the external DPC above finished ground level.

It would appear that it is not only the standards of new homes and the house builders service that is falling to new lows, but the integrity, independence and effectiveness of the NHBC and its new home warranty that is now also being called in question with increasing frequency.

I would urge you to write to Construction Minister Nick Boles nick.boles.mp@parliament.uk as soon as possible and suggest that a New Homes Ombudsman is not only a good idea, it is becoming essential!
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